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Newsletter November 2016

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Introducing Yoga
into the Classroom
Helping students self-regulate, focus
45 minutes, students from St.
Anns K-6th grade classrooms
learn and take part in yoga
and mindfulness instruction.
Introduced into the school
oerings, yoga poses and
breathing are oered as part of
Students participate in a school-based yoga session
led by Noelle Schreiber, MS, OTR/L and Gloria
Sanford-Breton, OTR/L, CCYT.
away, in fact it took lots of time
for the comfort level and trust to
build. And build it did. One day
while sharing the cooking with
Zuneivy, a child care counselor on
a girls unit at St. Anns, thirteen
year old Sarah began to talk…
and talk. She opened up, sharing
details of her traumatic past. She
had never spoken to anyone
about such details, and Zuneivy
knew this was a breakthrough.
After getting Sarahs permission,
Zuneivy got in touch with her
therapist who could now better
help Sarah move ahead and heal.
Jimmy, a fteen year old
living in one of St. Anns ve
community-based group homes,
is learning to plan and write a
grocery list with the guidance
and support of Steve, a child care
counselor working in the group
home. Shortly thereafter, they go
to the grocery store to seek out
and purchase the food on the
list. This simple task is something
Jimmy has never done before.
All the while they shop, Jimmy
learns about patience, courtesy
toward other shoppers…and
the price of food that many take
for granted. We try to bring a
sense of normalcy to their lives”
says Steve, adding, “some of
the children don’t necessarily
come from the most stable of
environments – many have
never even had the experience
of sitting down for dinner
with their family, something
we all take for granted.
With a sta of 150, child
care counselors like Steve and
Zuneivy are with the children
anywhere from 8 to 24 hours at
a time and are always in the role
model mode. They may take the
children to the movies, Canobie
Lake Park, Water Country, or
to play laser tag to name a
few destinations. Exercise is
important too as the children go
to the gym with Steve and others
to shoot some baskets or play the
very well attended oor hockey.
They are also around to assist
with the inevitable homework
and other school projects, and
sometimes, they just plain listen.
According to Zuneivy, while
they read up on the details in
each child’s record, “it’s really
dierent to see and hear
rst-hand. Therapists and
medical sta rely on the child
care counselors to keep them
informed about things occurring
Role Models Help Children Live and Learn
Child Care Counselors Important Members of the Treatment Team
Steve assists three residents with
homework before dinner.
Zuneivy passes her love of baking
on to residents.
the self-regulation tools available
to students. Mindfulness
instruction was later added
to both classroom and Yoga
instruction. Mindfulness is
a mental state achieved by
focusing ones awareness on the
present moment, while calmly
and accepting
one’s feelings,
thoughts, and
bodily sensations,
and is used as
a therapeutic
Yoga is also oered
as an elective course
for middle and high
school students.
Noelle Schreiber,
MS, OTR/L and Gloria
OTR/L, CCYT, teach
and run the Yoga
program. Yoga classes
include a focus on
social skills, self-
regulation, learning
poses, mindfulness,
breathing exercises
and relaxation.
According to Ms. Sanford-
Breton “as Occupational
Therapists, we see benets in
many areas and growth in all
of our students. Specic areas
include “self-regulation, body
awareness, strength, focus,
sensory processing, visual-
spatial skills, motor planning,
listening and auditory processing
and executive functioning.
Students also learn techniques
to regulate breathing and
focus inward to help when
they become dysregulated.
Both Ms. Schreiber and Ms.
Sanford-Breton are trained
extensively in bringing yoga
and mindfulness into schools
and classrooms. Ms. Sanford-
Breton has also received
training in Trauma-Informed
Yoga, and is an ambassador for
International Kids’ Yoga Day,
bringing this program to St
Anns Home and School.
Students practice breathing techniques during a recent
yoga class.
continued from page 3
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2 ST. ANN’S HOME & SCHOOL | Vol. 16 No. 11
Our Commitment to Children
who have a child, adolescent or
young adult with serious mental
health needs and looking for
services are today faced with
a wide variety of choices. To
those parents and guardians,
it is dicult to tell what makes
one program dierent from
another. It is often some things
behind the scenes that make
a real dierence. Behind the
excellent and well-respected
programs and services here at St.
Anns is our sta who regularly
goes above and beyond for
the children in our care.
Our sta of nearly 350, work
each and every day to better
the lives of the children. In this
newsletter, you will read about
Denis Grandbois, President/CEO
Holiday Giving
The holiday season can be an
exciting, happy time for families
and the same is true for the
children, adolescents and young
adults here at St. Anns. While
some children are able to go
home for at least part of the
Christmas holiday, for a variety
of circumstances, many are not
able to leave. Your gift of a new,
age-appropriate, unwrapped toy
can help make Christmas brighter
for a child here at St. Anns. For
more information about giving
or having a toy drive at your
company, school, church or
service club, please contact:
John J. Rice
Director of Development
978-682-5276, ext. 205
Visit our web site at
Thank you!
some of the things, including
how our child care counselors
make a dierence in the lives
of the children. You’ll also read
how some of the residents here
have joined the college ranks
with the care, support and
encouragement of the sta, and
how several afternoons a week
you may see up to 80 children
taking part in intramural sports,
run by our sta who coach,
mentor, and referee the games.
In the school, sta trained in
yoga have implemented a very
well-received yoga program,
teaching the children techniques
to help them now and in the
future. Finally, one of our day
school therapists is once again
raising a puppy in training for
Guiding Eyes for the Blind, the
children being a signicant part
of the puppy’s socialization as he
comes to work with her each day.
Going the extra mile is
something we all do on a daily
basis here at St. Anns and that
makes a big dierence.
has dedicated its new CBAT
BUILDING to Jack and Marci
Williams and The Endowment
for Wednesday’s Child.
Nearly 100 people attended
the dedication of The Jack
and Marci Williams Center,
including the Wednesdays
Child Board of Trustees, during
which a plaque was unveiled
dedicating the building.
St. Anns Opens New CBAT Facility Dedicated
to Jack and Marci Williams and
CBAT, or Community Based
Acute Treatment, serves as a
hospital diversion for children
in the midst of a mental health
crisis who may otherwise need
a hospital-based treatment
bed. Less costly and less
institutional, CBAT clients stay
two weeks on average where
they are stabilized, assessed
and further treatment plans
developed to transition
Jack and Marci Williams
the child back to the least
restrictive environment.
Since its inception in 1981,
Jack Williams and Wednesday’s
Child have featured over 1,189
special needs children from
throughout Massachusetts
and New England in search
of forever homes. Many of
those featured have been from
St. Anns Home & School.
St. Anns sta members and
children will once again hear
the click of puppy claws as we
host a new puppy in his early
training to become a guide dog
for Guiding Eyes for the Blind.
Olaf, a yellow Labrador Retriever,
will arrive shortly and is an 8
week old puppy bred specically
to become a guide dog. Olaf
will learn basic obedience and
manners to be social and learn
about everything around him.
Deborah Katsohis, LICSW, Day
Treatment Therapist, has been
a volunteer puppy raiser for 9
years. She most recently worked
with Wilke, previously featured
here, who has moved on and
been placed with his permanent
owner. According to Deborah,
staying focused and attentive,
as well as being well mannered,
are the most
things a guide
dog pup
needs to learn.
She expects
Olaf to be as
well received
as Wilke and
to be a great addition to St.
Anns. For more information,
go to n
Wilke at his graduation.
Olaf will soon begin his
training at St. Ann’s
Canine Companion
Returns to St. Anns
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ST. ANN’S HOME & SCHOOL | Vol. 16 No. 11 3
Board of Trustees
Mr. Richard Deyermond
Chairman of the Board
Mr. Denis Grandbois
President & CEO
Rev. Philip B. Earley
Father J. Bryan Hehir
Ms. Marilyn Andrews
Ms. Stephanie Aznoian
Fr. Christopher Casey
Mr. Ron Desjardins
Mr. James MacMillan, Jr.
Mr. Thomas McNamara
Mr. Peter Quinlan
Mr. Steven Rosenberg
Dr. Richard Johansson, Incoming Medical Director
a child and adolescent
psychiatrist, has joined St. Anns
as Medical Director. He will
be replacing current Medical
Director, Dr. Beth Liao, who
will remain in a part time
sta psychiatry position.
Dr. Johansson graduated from
Dr. Richard Johansson
Medical School at the University
of California, San Francisco and
did his adult psychiatry and
child and adolescent psychiatry
training at the Cambridge Health
Alliance, a training program
aliated with the Harvard
Medical School. While initially
entering college with an interest
in architecture, volunteer
work with the Big Brother’s
organization led to his increasing
involvement with emotionally
and behaviorally challenged
children and adolescents. Dr.
Johansson was employed as
a Child Care Counselor as he
worked his way through college,
eventually spending a year as
a Program Director for a group
home in Northern California.
Since completing his training in
child and adolescent psychiatry,
Dr. Johansson has worked in a
variety of treatment settings
including providing psychiatric
evaluations and treatment to
children and adolescents in a
residential treatment program,
an intensive residential treatment
program (IRTP) and, for the past
10 years, an acute inpatient
hospital program which served
patients with developmental
disabilities as well as neuro-typical
children and adolescents. His
work has involved successful
initiatives to decrease the use of
physical restraint in these settings.
“I am really excited about being
here and to be a part of such
a well-respected program he
added. When asked about his
overall philosophy in working
with children, he said his view
was based on the idea that
“kids do well if they can, not
because the want to a view he
attributes to the work of Dr. Ross
Greene, a colleague with whom
he has frequently collaborated.
“Our job, as clinicians, is to
gure out what gets in the
way of kids doing well.
if you were to look at the ball eld
you may see a multitude of kids
in colorful shirts, demonstrating
their soccer skills under the
watchful eyes of several St. Anns
sta who coach, instruct and
support the children, in addition
to their normal duties. While
they teach soccer skills, they are
also teaching sportsmanship,
cooperation, sharing, team play
and other life skills that will serve
the children well in years to
come. Soccer this year consists
of 8 teams, each consisting of
8-11 children and 2-3 coaches,
totaling over 85 children and 20
or so sta, including referees.
Al Apperti, Director of Latency-
Aged Services, who oversees
the growing intramural sports
programming at St. Anns, started
the soccer league last year, along
with track and eld, says that “in
addition to the obvious benets
of the physical activity for the
kids, they practice many life
skills that just cannot be taught
in the residence or classroom.
Participating in soccer, and other
team sports, helps increase self-
esteem and condence, increases
socialization and teamwork skills,
and helps develop a sense of
discipline in the student-athlete.
And of course, the development
of good sportsmanship skills
being a life-long benet.
According to Mr. Apperti,
“we see few if any behavioral
problems with the children while
they participate in soccer and
everyone – children and sta
alike are respectful and really
enjoy the opportunity. At the end
of the soccer season the children
participate in a skills competition
and an ice cream party with
each team selecting a player to
receive a “Good Sportsmanship
and “Most Improved Player”
Healthy Competition
with the children so they can be
better able to provide the best
informed care and treatment.
According to Vice President
of Care, Joseph Cronin,
child care counselors are an
important aspect of the care we
provide here for the children,
and play an important role
in keeping other caregivers
informed and up-to-date.
Zuneivy and Steve are in it for
the children. Their co-workers
“really care about the children
says Steve, who, like Zuneivy,
seems to have found a home here
at St. Anns. “It can be frustrating
at times” adds Zuneivy, “but
I love it here. “It’s what I see
myself doing adds Steve,
Role Models Help Children Live and Learn
continued from page 1
and yes “there are frustrating
moments, but we all learn from
them to help make each child
as successful as they can be.
If you or someone you know
would like to make a dierence
in the life of a child, please
contact us at employment@
remained just a dream for many
of the young adults here at St.
Anns. Those days have gone,
according to Christine Albert,
Director of Group Home Services.
We now have three residents
who, with the support and
guidance of sta, have applied
and been accepted to various
colleges. These students reside
in our community-based group
homes with a pre-independent
living focus, and are enrolled
in classes at Northern Essex
Community College; University
of Massachusetts, Boston; and
Middlesex Community College.
We couldn’t be prouder of these
residents, added Albert, and
we support them in any way
necessary to be successful.
College: No Longer a Dream
144264.indd 3 11/2/16 7:43 AM
100A Haverhill Street
Methuen, MA 01844
phone: 978-682-5276
fax: 978-688-4932
Return Service Requested
An aliate of
Catholic Social Services, Inc.
of the Merrimack Valley
St. Ann’s Home & School
Denis Grandbois
President & CEO
Ext. 101
Jodie Minahan Lamirande
Ext. 516
Cheryl Macinanti
Ext. 102
Gary Fish
Clinical Director
Ext. 133
Heather O’Neil
Ext. 199
Beth Mitchell
Ext. 255
John Rice
Ext. 205
Teresa Jones
Ext. 150
How To Contact Us - MAIN NUMBER - 978-682-5276
Marybeth Gilmore
Chief Financial Ocer
Ext. 134
Christine Albert
Ext. 121
Stephen Steiner
Ext. 187
Al Apperti
Ext. 254
Richard Johansson, MD
Medical Director
Ext. 475
Joseph Cronin
V.P. of Care
and Admissions
Ext. 175
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